Mark Webber plans to torpedo teammate Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One title hopes over the closing five races to win sole team backing for the drivers’ championship.
And he has reassured his supporters that Red Bull can rectify his slow starts, highlighted by the last round at Monza.
Webber, who leads the race by five points, plans to outpace Vettel – starting at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix – and leave the team with no option but to throw all their resources behind him.
The Australian is a healthy 24 points ahead of Vettel and the team is under pressure now to back him fully.
“Last year, the difference between first and second was pretty small,” Webber said.
“Now they have a bigger separation, trying to reward winning. But consistency is also very important.”
He emerged with more points than expected from the past two races, at Spa and Monza, which did not suit his car, and goes into the remaining five races – Singapore, Japan, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi – confident of success.
Briton Lewis Hamilton heads to Singapore as defending champion but Red Bull is expected to be the quickest around the street circuit.
“Hamilton destroyed us in Monaco and Budapest last year and this year we gave them a touch-up at both those races,” Webber said.
“We should be closer to the front than we were in Singapore last year, as the car has changed a lot since last year.
“We’re very confident we’ll go there and go well.”
The Australian’s 2009 Singapore Grand Prix was wrecked by brake failure while the year before an electric charge from a passing subway train was bizarrely blamed for a gearbox meltdown.
Webber says his slow starts this year have been due to a combination of factors.
“When everything goes right with an F1 car, they’re easy to get away. But when it doesn’t, it looks very much exaggerated that you’ve made a shocking start,” Webber said.
“The last few starts haven’t been like they were at the start of the year, when we were making good starts.
“The team are working on it and we’re confident we can address it in the future.”